NTSB Identification: LAX01LA282.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 17, 2001 in GROVELAND, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172-A, registration: N7198T
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot made an off airport forced landing following a loss of engine power about 2 minutes after departure. The pilot preflighted the airplane, drained fuel, and completed an extensive run-up. He taxied to the fuel pumps and added over 18 gallons of fuel. He did another run-up and departed. About 75 feet agl the engine sputtered and lost power. The pilot was unable to regain power so he attempted to land on a dirt road. The left wing contacted upsloping terrain; the right wing contacted trees and separated from the airplane. All engine controls and the carburetor air box were secure and functioning. The magnetos were timed to within 1 degree of each other, and the spark plugs were not discolored. All cylinders except cylinder No. 5 had compression greater than 70/80; cylinder No.5 was 25/80. Mechanics staked the valve, but the compression did not change. The gascolator contained 3 ounces of fuel. The carburetor contained a small amount of water; however, the fuel selector valve and main fuel line to the carburetor only contained fuel. The tank vents were clear.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

a loss of engine power due to water contamination forced the pilot to land in an unsuitable area resulting in collision with a tree.

Full narrative available

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